Disabled cyclist trying to pedal over 1,000km with bionic leg

A bit of local news to jolt me out of my lethargy after taking a one month plus break from cycling during Ramadan fasting month and the extended Eid celebration. What this one legged cyclist is doing is truly inspiring and I wish him all the best.

Now, no more excuses for me to start cranking.

 For the record: Azman will cycle through six states over the course of nine days.

For the record: Azman will cycle through six states over the course of nine days

PETALING JAYA: Azman Yeop Akhil intends to ride his way into the Malaysia Book of Records by being the first disabled Malaysian to cycle over 1,000km.

Azman, 43, will cycle through six states over the course of nine days, making a loop around half of the peninsula and arriving back where he started, at Universiti Malaya (UM).

“The furthest I’ve cycled so far is Cameron Highlands, so I’m looking forward to this challenge,” he said.

Azman is taking part in Ekspedisi Kasih Bionik, which is a joint initiative between UM’s Centre for Applied Biomechanics, Photonics Research Group and the Faculty of Engi­neering.

The expedition was flagged off by Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and UM vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Ghauth Jasmon at the varsity’s chancellery building.

UM researchers, headed by Hossein Gholizadeh, built a custom-made prosthetic cycling leg for Azman, who lost his right leg when he was knocked over at a pedestrian crossing by a motorcyclist eight years ago.

Photonics Research Group (PRG) head Dr Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan said the  bionic cycling leg is shaped so that it fits securely into the pedal of the bicycle.

“It is also fitted with fibre optic sensors that will send real-time data on his vitals, such as pulse heartbeat and temperature, to the UM laboratory over the course of his 1,100km journey,” he said.

Faculty of Engineering deputy dean Assoc Prof Dr Noor Azuan Abu Osman said that this is a world first.

“We will be able to monitor things like how tired and how comfortable he is. This in turn will enable us to evaluate the overall quality of the leg so we know where and how we can improve,” he said.

Dr Noor Azuan said the expedition is a project under UM’s High Impact Research initiative, for which it received an overall grant of RM590mil from the Education Ministry.

Azman is expected to arrive back at UM on Aug 28.

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